Insight Into Leaky Gut Interview with Dr. Josh Axe

Written By:

Interview with Marc David and Dr. Josh Axe



Marc: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are in the Future of Healing Online Conference. I’m here just with an amazing practitioner, educator, thought leader in the health universe, Dr.   Josh  Axe. Welcome, Josh.

Josh: Hey, thanks for having me, Marc. Excited to be here.

Marc: Same here, my friend. Let me say a couple of quick words about you and what you’ve been up to, to get listeners and viewers caught up. Dr. Josh Axe is a certified nutrition specialist, expert in natural medicine, a speaker for Fortune 500 companies including Nissan and Whole Foods and he’s a doctor of chiropractics. Dr. Axe is a nationally sought after speaker, bestselling author of The Real Food Diet Cookbook.

He’s a physician for Olympic­level athletes and a regular, contributing writer for one of the largest U.S. supplement health companies, Garden Of Life.

Dr. Axe runs and that is one of the world’s top natural health sites. It provides real advice for health and wellness that families can actually use. One of Josh’s many specialties includes teaching people about gut health and how to use food as medicine. Josh, first of all, I am blown away by how prolific you are and just how dedicated you’ve been to getting good, clear information out there in health and wellness. Does it ever boggle your mind?  It does mine that we’re talking about food  as medicine. One would think it’ so obvious, but we have to learn how to do that.

Josh: Yeah. It is crazy when you look at how things progress over time. I think if you would look back 30 years ago though there was a lot less of a discussion about nutrition than today, but I think, as you’re talking about and sort of this Future of Healing Online Summit you’re putting on is that I think people are realizing, “Hey, I don’t want to do drugs anymore. I don’t want to do surgery. I want to find a natural approach to getting well.” Hippocrates said, thousands of years ago, “Let food be thy medicine.” I really hold onto that tightly and I’ve found that patients today are excited to change   their diet and see great results.

I think it’s the fastest way that people are going to see results is by changing the food they eat or letting food be thy medicine.

Marc: A lot of people look for the quick­fix methods and quick­fix often sounds like something different other than change my diet in a nice, sustainable way. That is fast, really.

Josh: Yeah, whether it be a medication or even a supplement today. Everybody’s looking for that pill that’s going to fix them, but there’s no doubt about it. Those things that really require a change in what we’re doing, whether it be a total dietary change. I know that you’re a great example of this and helping change their lifestyle and their way of thinking and even their emotional reactions to things. I think that those things that are more difficult are really the things that we’ve got to make a change with.

Marc: Josh, what got you started in the health field? How did it happen?

Josh: Well, for me, what got me in the field was a health crisis in my family. As I interview different health experts over time I found out that that’s common with a lot of people. People get into it because maybe it’s themselves or a family member, but for myself, growing up I had a family that was always into fitness and so my dad was a semi­pro water skier. My mom was a swim instructor and she was my gym teacher in elementary school, so she was always fit, but at 40 years old she was diagnosed with cancer, which again, was crazy for our family at the time.

We lived in, what I call, the medical model. She went through and she went to Cleveland Clinic. She went to John Hopkins. They recommended she have a mastectomy and then go through chemotherapy and I still can remember this day, her hair falling out. I remember looking at her at one point and thinking she had aged 20 years in 2 weeks and just saying to myself, “I never want to see anyone have to go through that again.”  Praise God, she was brought through that and diagnosed as  being cancer free and healthy.

Truthfully, after going through chemo, she spent half of her life in bed. She struggled with chronic fatigue.    She struggled with depression and anxiety.    She had just severe digestive distress, leaky gut, chronic constipation and also was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, thyroiditis and was constantly struggling with all these issues.

That went on for 10 years. Actually one of the things I remember about my mom growing up is she was a schoolteacher. She taught gym class and would also teach Special Ed and she would get home from work at, maybe, 3:30 and then she would take a 2 ½ to 3­hour nap every single day for 10 years because she was just so tired all the time. We went through that for 10 years. Ten years later my mom calls me. At this point, I’m working as a nutritionist in Orlando and working on my health degree.

She says, “Hey, I’ve got bad news. I’ve been diagnosed with cancer again. What do I do?”

I flew home and we prayed together and just decided we were going to take care of    her all naturally. I’d been working with some of the top natural doctors of functional medicine from all around the world at that point and so we started juicing vegetables every single day. She started doing probiotic­rich foods and eating wild­caught  salmon and blueberries and really just following a perfect diet. After following that diet for two weeks, we saw tremendous changes in her gut health. After four months, we went back to the oncologist and redid a CT scan.

He just said, “This is incredible.”   He called us two days later. He said, “The largest tumor has shrunk from 2.5 centimeters down to 1.2. Go ahead and come back in nine months.”   We went back nine months later, almost complete remission at that point.    It’s been about nine years since then.    My mom is now in her sixties. She water skis. Her and my dad just retired from Ohio down to Florida, so she water skis a few times a week. She’s ran three 5K’s with me in the past few years and gotten  second and third in her age group in those.

She said she feels better now in her sixties than she did in her thirties. For me, that’s part of what really led me into starting my clinic in Nashville and really getting to the  root cause of disease.  One of the things that I can tell you Marc and one of the  reasons I love what you teach so much is the root cause of disease is diet, but it’s also your emotions. One of the things that we did with my mom as well, she was very stressed out with teaching special ed with those children. She started doing things – actually, she got a horse.

That’s something she always wanted to do, so she started horseback riding. She started vacationing more, just really doing things to reduce stress. She went back and forgave people and worked on setting herself free from some of that emotional bondage she had locked up. We even had her do things like visualization. We had her visualize her cancer cells dying and all of those things and practicing being  grateful.   I’m a big believer in a holistic approach when it comes to healing of diet  being a huge level of importance, but also taking care of the emotional side as well.

Marc: I just have to tell you I am so moved by this story, just having been through cancer with both my parents.    Each of them died before they hit sixty. It’s so true that it’s

this amazing journey that we often go on with health and healing, whether for ourselves or with our loved ones that become the source of inspiration, but what a beautiful story. I’m just in awe.

I kind of want to meet your mother some day.  Here we are talking about the root  cause of disease.  So many thought leaders, so many experts, are pointing towards  the gut and you like to talk about leaky gut and how it can affect brain and body. Can you just give us a sense of what is leaky gut? Why should we know about it?

Josh: Sure. Well, I think, as we are, or anyone who’s listening, is reading different health books today, whether I be in the realm of gluten free or Paleo or autoimmune disease, almost every book today, somewhere in the book, they reference leaky gut in a sentence, in a paragraph and really what an issue it is today. Essentially leaky gut is

  • by the way, I was looking at the research online. There are over 11,000 studies referring to intestinal permeability, which is leaky gut online.

It’s something that has been sort of buried. People haven’t talked about it that much,  but it is in the research and has been for over 20 years. Leaky gut is where your small intestine becomes hyper permeable, which means basically your gut functions like a net.   It lets certain things pass through, so smaller molecules. Larger things can’t pass through, but in leaky gut, if somebody has an inflamed intestinal lining, and that can be caused from a number of things, but it’s essentially like you get a hole in your net.

Imagine a hole ripping in your net and then larger particles can pass through. This is why gluten is such an issue today. Gluten can pass through the gut lining, get into the bloodstream then and then cause system­wide or body­wide inflammation and that inflammation can cause hypothyroidism. It could cause Hashimoto’s disease. It could cause a joint pain and arthritis. It could cause a number of other health conditions that are inflammatory or even autoimmune in nature if it isn’t corrected.

Essentially, everybody’s gut is somewhat leaky. Small things should be passing through, but it’s hyper leaky or hyper permeable where things are passing through that shouldn’t be. When things get into your bloodstream that shouldn’t be there your immune system really starts an immune response. It starts killing off and attacking  those particles and if it continues to happen over time and isn’t corrected that’s when

the body will really turn over what’s called an autoimmune response and start – really where the body’s even attacking its own tissues.

Surprising for some people, but leaky gut as well, it’s been correlated with a number of health issues today. Just to list off just a few of them, but one of the biggest is food sensitivities and food allergies. Anybody that’s struggling with those issues, it’s a big warning sign that they have leaky gut. Any form of gas, bloating or cramping, any digestive distress, thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s. Adrenal fatigue is a big one, joint pain, headaches, skin issues like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, even depression, anxiety and even other conditions like type 1 diabetes and Alzheimer’s have been  linked to it.

There are a number of problems, but when somebody’s reading a book like Grain Brain or Wheat Belly or a lot of these books today that are talking about how there’s essentially a brain­gut connection or a gut­skin connection, the condition that they’re referring to, whether they come out and say it or not, it is leaky gut.

Marc: Here we are. By the way, thanks for that very clear explanation of what leaky gut is. That was great. Here we are. I eat food and once it goes down we tend to now know what’s happening.   I know, “Wow, that meal might’ve felt good. Wow,” I might feel some digestive upset. How would a person know, “Huh, I might have leaky gut?”

Josh: I would say it’s really through the symptoms that we mentioned, really any of those,   but on top of that I would say one of the things people can do is they can get some testing.   There’s a test called the Zonulin test. You can test for that. I think an IGG antibody test is a good one to do, really looking to see if there’s any sort of food sensitivities or food intolerances.   That’s one big way.   Another way is actually getting a stool test done and really looking at the health of your microbiome.

There have been a couple books on the microbiome. Watch over the next two to five years. We are going to see a flood in the market of books talking about your microbiome and essentially what’s going on with that ecology within the gut itself.

Again, looking at the microorganisms, essentially your probiotic balance or microorganism balance in the gut , is one of the biggest ways to test and know for sure  if you have leaky gut. But, I would say for the average person, you can just go online and see if you have leaky gut.

I have a quiz on my website. People can go to and on there look up leaky  gut quiz.  I have a leaky gut quiz on there and they can actually take the quiz and it  spits out a score on not only if they have leaky gut, but how severe their leaky gut is. Again, I would say taking a quiz, just regular symptoms or doing more advanced  testing, looking at your actual microorganism ratio because if somebody has too much, let’s say, yeast in their body – candida is another prime example – then somebody has leaky gut.

Marc: You mentioned a fantastic array of symptoms related to leaky gut that medicine, traditional medicine, normally thinks of as the problem, whether it’s arthritic pain or  some type of autoimmune condition. Then we will treat that symptom, it seems, and never necessarily know, “Wait a second, we have to really swim our way to the cause.”  It feels like medicine is oftentimes knocking on the wrong door when it comes to where does healing need to happen?

Josh: Yeah, I absolutely believe that and one of the things that I’ve also spent time recently doing, Marc, is studying TCM, which is Chinese Medicine. It’s amazing when you look at how eastern cultures treat the body versus western cultures today. I’m going to go on just a little bit of a 30­second rant here and get back on topic.

Marc: Please.

Josh: I was reading a biography on Hippocrates and what he actually did as medicine.   I  think it is so funny to me that we call Hippocrates the father of western medicine because what he practiced was he had his patients do fasting and sunbathing and essential oils. The things he had them do – and working on their emotions.  He had them do the furthest thing from what western medicine is today. It’s eastern medicine, but if you look at eastern medicine, so much of it is also really digging to the root  causes of things and really, again, starting off with the emotions.

For instance, I’m actually writing a book right now and in the book I’m getting into not just what causes gut issues or leaky gut, but also I even divide that into different gut types or personality types because if somebody is struggling with, for instance, their chief emotion is, let’s say, frustration and anger. We know those two things cause liver and gallbladder disease. We know if somebody is struggling with being worried  all the time, we know that specifically affects the stomach and the spleen and the pancreas and so on and so forth.

Candida is dampness and also spleen issues. I know that if somebody’s going to heal we’ve got to take care of the whole person and also, we need to, like you were saying, get to the root cause. I think the root cause is looking at the emotions first and really working on those things, like practicing unforgiveness and worry and working on those things and then, along with that, looking at diet. There are certain food triggers, I think, that really can cause these major problems.   As I mentioned earlier, IGG testing  is great, but also just listening to your body.

If you’re consuming dairy and your nose starts to run and you get stuffy or you have a reaction, that means that you should probably remove that form of food from your diet. Again, diet is a big issue or certain foods. Gluten and casein are two big culprits.

Grains, in general, I don’t believe everybody needs to be grain free necessarily, but at least eating grains that are properly prepared through sourdough fermentation or a sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread where some of those proteins are, in a way, pre­digested or broken down, is important for a lot of people.

I think sugar is a major issue. One of the things about sugar is it feeds yeast and candida and people don’t realize this, but candida and yeast in your system, if there’s too much of that, they actually produce toxins within your gut that eat away at your gut wall, which is what causes leaky gut. It’s this dysbiosis or imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the body that creates such an issue. If we’re looking at the root cause, along with addressing the emotional side, I would say – Hippocrates, as I mentioned earlier, this is what I was trying to get to, he said, “All disease begins in the gut.”

I really believe it’s so true. Disease, in terms of the things we’re talking about, really begins in the gut. Even if you have an emotional response that affects the gut, certain foods affect the gut. Whether somebody right now is listing it or they have adrenal fatigue or candida or any issue, I really believe looking at the gut first and one of those first steps is removing those foods like gluten, like casein, like sugar.   The biggest  thing that will cause leaky gut in people, by far number one, is taking a prescription antibiotic medication.

I’m referring to it in my book as the A­bomb.   It’s like an atomic bomb or an antibiotic  is like an atomic bomb in your gut and it not only wipes out the bad bacteria. It also wipes out the good bacteria and the problem is that the good bacteria doesn’t grow back unless you are really replenishing it aggressively, in a way. The problem is then

we have overgrowth of bad bacteria, but antibiotics, by far, are the number one cause of leaky gut and again, it’s like throwing a bomb in your gut. Things are exploding.

You’re creating these holes in your gut, which is again, obviously, a problem.

Marc: I think in my first 15 years of life, if I had $10 for every time I was given antibiotics I could’ve retired a long time ago. You’re bringing up something which, to me and obviously for you, is important to point out. It seems like the challenge is antibiotics, it almost sounds like mother’s milk, like you can’t question it. Doctors give it so much, even when you don’t need an antibiotic.

Even if you have a viral condition we give antibiotics. I’m just wondering. For you, as  an educator, as a practitioner, when you say such things, how is it received? Do  people understand that because we’re really poking at something that’s become so standard?

Josh: What I’ve found is when I was practicing 10, 12 years ago and recommending certain things for people to take I think there was a little more resistance then. Today I actually get very, very little resistance from people because I think that people are more aware. With all of the articles we’re putting out there on the internet, with all of the things we’re seeing in the news, everybody is shifting towards a more natural approach. I think, Marc, it’s not that people – I think the issue is that people want to do something.

If you’re a parent and you have a child with an ear infection, let’s say, or a bacterial infection of some sort, it’s not that they are against doing something natural. I think it’s that they just want to know what to do. If I have a patient that comes in, let’s say the child has an ear infection, what I would do is recommend that we do something natural first, every single time. If they have an ear infection, first let’s determine is it viral or bacterial. If it’s viral we’re not going to give you an antibiotic.

What we want to do is if the body’s going to kill off a virus, we need to increase your body’s – really support your immunity, support your immune response. We know that starts in the gut, so one of the things I’d have them doing is start consuming real  chicken soup, not the stuff you buy in the store, but something made of real bone broth with lots of veggies. I’d start there. I’d also have them take a probiotic supplement and really start loading up on foods that are rich in vitamin C and start doing things like that that we know really support immunity.

If they do need something or have some sort of issue that’s more bacterial in nature, I would actually opt for something like essential oils first like oil or oregano or myrrh essential oil or frankincense. I believe that these oils have been used for over 4,000 years. They’re referenced more than 300 times in the bible. They’re referenced in Egyptian medicine, Chinese medicine. They’re referenced all over the place and there’s some great research on, again, oil of oregano. There’s some great stuff out there.

I would do something like that first along with these lifestyle therapies like, again, like doing real bone broth, vitamin C rich foods, foods rich in zinc, even an herb like Echinacea or goldenseal, I think, are good options as well. When I have patients that would come in, that would be more of the form of treatment that I would do.

Marc: It sounds so sane what you’re saying that, “Hey, let’s focus on building up our natural God­given immunity.” We all came into this world with an immune system. How do I support it so it does its best? Our immune systems are pretty strong. Even think of  when I look at all the terrible things I did to my body in my first 20 years of life and the fact that I’m still alive. I’m in great health. I’ve been able to reconfigure my body in so many ways, it just shows us the power of the body to heal when we do the right things.

Josh: Yeah, I think it’s incredible.  One of the other things I want to mention is there is no  food that heals us. There’s no antibiotic medication that heals us or an essential oil. The body heals itself. There is this innate intelligence within us. One of the things I used to always explain to my patients is if I had a cut on my hand here there’s nothing   I need to do to heal it. Your body heals itself. Now, you can put ointment over it or something to protect it, essentially, but really as long as you’re not picking at it and damaging it, it heals itself.

It’s a similar thing with our intestinal lining.  This is why, really, the diet I recommend,  my leaky gut diet for patients, it’s things that are easy on the body. I think that intermittent fasting can be beneficial for some people. I think bone broth is great because your body has to do no work to digest it. I think fruit and vegetables are great because your body has to do very little work and fasting is something that was  practiced for a very, very long time, but I think part of it is we always want to be doing something.

Well, one of the best things you can do to heal is stop doing stuff. Just rest. Just sleep. Just reduce stress on the body. You look at what Hippocrates did as medicine. That was the number one therapy he had for people was just letting the body rest and recover.

Marc: Again, it sounds so clear and basic. Even when you brought up traditional Chinese medicine I was thinking how in TCM it’s not just, “Well, take this herb or we’re going to stick the needle here.”  It’s a larger worldview about life and about the universe in   which medicine is contained somewhere in there. Earlier on when you were telling us the story about your mom I was kind of touched when you said the second time she  was diagnosed and called you and you got together and you prayed.

You didn’t say, “Well, we got together and I diagnosed here and I assessed her and I asked her 97 questions.” I’m sure you might have done that at some point, but it feels like the world is hungry for an approach to healing that really includes all of us, not just our biochemistry, which is super important, but yes, our lifestyle, our connection to a higher power. It seems like we can’t push that aside anymore.

Josh: Yeah. I totally agree and it’s one of those things where I look at – if somebody were to ask me what is the number one thing that caused my mom to get cancer, if I’m really thinking about that, I would say, without a doubt, it was stress. I really know it was that stress in her life and she struggled with fear. She struggled with some anxiety issues. That’s why part of her treatment protocol, I’m not going to ignore that. It’s the same thing when I take care of my patients and I took care of them here in Nashville.

I told my patients for years, “I’m going to take care of you like I would my own mom.  I’m going to be very transparent. I’m going to tell you exactly what I would have her do.”   I think that these things are absolutely crucial. I’ll give an example with digestive disease. When I have patients I work with, with IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, what will set them off just as much as if they had gluten is if they had an emotionally traumatic experience or struggle with some emotion. It’s going to cause the exact same symptoms in the body.

It’s like so much today, it’s like we’re covering – well, most of the time in western medicine, they’re not covering any of the areas that should be covered, but as practitioners, a lot of times we’re covering diet, which again, is crucial, but I really

believe that marriage of taking care of the emotional aspect of the person along with the dietary aspect of the person, it’s crucial.

Marc: Well, it feels like that understanding is making a comeback right now, almost because   it has to. We have to bring all of us to the table, so I want to circle back to leaky gut  for a minute.  We talked about some of the foods that can adversely impact the gut.  You started mentioning some of the foods that can help heal the gut. Anything else in terms of food and supplements that come to mind for you around just nurturing the gut in general, leaky gut in specific?

Josh: Yeah, I’ll mention my top five foods and five supplements here. The top five foods for leaky gut, number one is bone broth.   Again, this is bone broth that’s made very  simply. You’re putting either it’s chicken bones or beef bones in a crockpot, just letting them simmer and the minerals and the amino acids come out and form that liquid, but the amino acids specifically of proline and glycine. Proline is that main amino acid that makes up collagen and as our skin ages or we age, our skin starts to sag and it starts to wrinkle.

That’s because your body stops producing as much collagen.    Getting collagen in   your diet is so good for your health in the form of bone broth.    It’s the number one   food for repairing leaky gut.   The second food would be a raw, fermented, dairy   product like a kefir or a yogurt.  You could also do a coconut product like a coconut   kefir or yogurt, but I really believe that probiotics are essential. Marc, as you were  saying earlier, I know it was the same thing with me growing up. My parents, the joke was they used to preorder antibiotics in November so we could have them all winter.

I always got something like the croup or cough or bronchitis or some sort of issue like that, but probiotics are key and so I think we’ve got to load up with probiotics in our    diet and kefir is one of my favorite foods for that.    The other thing I would say would   be fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi or kavas. These are very high in organic acids, which actually support the growth of probiotics and the PH of your body. Also, many of them contain what are called soil­based probiotics like bacillus subtilis, which is fantastic for your health.

The fourth food I would recommend would be coconut products. Coconut has antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is the ideal oil to cook with and last, but not least,  is fiber­rich foods. We talk about probiotics. We also need probiotics and some of the

best foods for that are going to be chia and flax seeds, ideally sprouted chia and flax. Artichokes are fantastic, cruciferous vegetables, also most fruits are great. Figs are one of the best. Actually, figs are one of the highest in fiber of all fruits.

Those are some of the best foods and food categories people should consider. In terms of supplements, by far, again the number on supplement people should be taking should be a good quality probiotic. I will say this, 90% of the probiotic supplements on the market today just really aren’t quality. Most of the times they’re strains that are dead by the time they reach your small intestine because of all your stomach acid and so, again, getting what’s called and SBO or soil­based probiotic or live probiotics are great.

There’s actually one that I formulated that I think is the best one out there. Enzymes are very important.   If somebody is having any sort of digestive distress, I think digestive enzymes are great. The third would be l­glutamine. L­glutamine is an amino acid that’s very important for intestinal repair and even used as fuel by your  small intestine.    I’ll just tell you this. I think the biggest results I’ve seen with some people is by doing a quality glutamine.    I have a supplement. It’s a leaky gut support and there’s a type of glutamine called l­alanyl­glutamine and it really stays on your gut  in that small intestine area, so that’s very good.

Last few, my number four is licorice root or DGL­licorice root.   It’s an adaptogenic   herb. It helps the body deal with stress, but it’s also very good for the stomach. Aside from those, I would say there are a few other good herbs people can use, but I think quercetin is actually very good and quercetin can be found – it’s a phytonutrient found   in certain things like citrus fruits, which is good as well. Really the top three are going to be probiotic enzymes and l­glutamine.

Marc: Josh, it amazes me. Thanks for that because that was very comprehensive. It amazes me how here’s this condition, leaky gut, that so many people suffer from and the remedies that you just mentioned, I know from my own experience, are so   powerful. They work. It’s like the remedies are out there. If you have any disease condition there are so many strategies that use the natural intelligence of the body and it’s just a question, really, of us becoming aware that these things work.

Josh: Yeah. Oh, exactly. There’s no doubt they work and I know, from you and I, together, working with thousands and thousands of patients is that – I have had so many

patients come in after a few weeks of care and say, “How did I not know this earlier?” That happens so often.

Marc: Are there any other lifestyle pieces when it comes to leaky gut that you feel are important for us to know about?

Josh: Yeah, I think there are a few. I think everybody needs to do a, I’m going to call it a, self­audit of really looking at your daily schedule, what you’re doing on a daily basis. I would go back and look at the past week. I would get out a sheet of paper and really – or type this out and just really look at what you’re doing for the next couple weeks in terms of your time.   Some people, Marc, they go through their entire week and have   no alone time. I see this a lot with moms, especially younger moms.

They’ll go through their entire week and have zero alone time and zero time to reduce stress and zero time to do some of the things they love to do. One of the things that  I’ve done with a lot of my patients is I have them get out a sheet of paper and write a line down the middle or, again, you can do this with a Word doc and do two lists. On one side, write down all of the things that are causing stress or anxiety or any sort of discontent with that person. Maybe it’s relational discontent, work discontent, but an area that they’re just not happy with in their life. I have them write that down.

On the other side I have them write down all the things that bring joy to them, all the things that cause them to be more carefree, they love to do, encourage them, inspire them and maybe that’s going out and walking trails. Maybe it’s doing lunch with a best friend.    Maybe it’s horseback riding.   Whatever it is, writing those things down and then really dealing with those issues, going through that left side of the list, figuring out how can I improve this area, fix this or how can I just let that go?

You can’t fix the weather.  You can’t fix certain things and just realizing that letting it  go, giving it to God, I think that’s an important thing to do is getting those things out of your life, bad relationships, finding ways to get some of those people out of your life and then, on the right, again, really schedule in – just like you schedule going to work, just like you schedule in certain appointments, you need to schedule in free time. I know I’ve got a few friends of ours she gets three hours on Sunday. He gets three hours on Friday where they just go off and just get alone time, time to relax and that sort of thing.

I think that scheduling in these things are critical for health and just a few other things.    I mentioned this earlier.   I think unforgiveness is something that can just destroy  people. I think getting out, similar thing, writing down the people you need to forgive. I know, for some people, that there have been some horrific experiences in life and so  this may be something where you’ll want to meet with a counselor or a church group or  a close friend that you trust or a mentor, but I really think practicing forgiveness and    not letting those things eat you up inside, but I think that’s a big thing.

Then also, practicing getting grateful. I did this, this morning. I went out for a walk and just started thank God because I’m just so grateful for the family I have. I’m so grateful that I have a mission that I love and just being grateful for what I have right now, I think is an important thing for people to soak in as well. Those are some good lifestyle things. A few other thoughts, I would say, one of the things that I found is   really good for reducing stress on the body is taking a healing bath at night.

What that is, it’s taking Epsom salts mixed with essential oils like lavender oil, chamomile oil, [bediver 35:08] oil, but basically 20 drops of essential oils in the tub, 1 cup of Epsom salts. Epsom salts are loaded with magnesium, so you’re getting magnesium.  You’re getting these essential oils that really help calm the nerve system  in the body and doing a 20­minute bath, three times a week, I think is greatly beneficial as well. I could keep going, but I think those are some of my top.

Marc: I love it. I loved how you highlighted the act of forgiveness and the act of gratitude.

Oftentimes, those get put to the side.  Oh and there are these other things. Sometimes it’s, in my experience, the food might be the most important thing. You change up somebody’s diet and voila, there’s the healing. Sometimes the food is great and it helps. Until we do that core piece that life wants to happen, I’ve had so many clients over the years who that’s where the action was. The action was they  had a grievance.

It could’ve been against a parent and for good reason, but it’s been 40 years now.     It’s 40 years of anger and frustration and unforgiveness. How could that not affect the body and then when there’s forgiveness, what usually happens, we go, “Ah.” It’s just letting go.

Josh: Yeah, some people are like Greek mythology, like Atlas, they’re holding the world on their shoulders for year upon year upon year and it’s destroying them. I see that all

the time.  One of the other things you mentioned, Marc, it made me think of this, is  I’ve had so many patients come in to me over the years who were at another physician’s office and they came in and they said, “My prior doctor told me one of the things I need to do is reduce stress.” I’ll say, “Great, well what did he tell you to do?” They say, “Well, that’s it. He told me to reduce stress.”

That’s one of the things I can appreciate about you and your mission is giving people practical guidance on reducing stress and getting to the root core of some of these emotional issues. It’s crucial.  It’s crucial to our overall health and it’s something I  know that most people don’t talk about enough.

Marc: Well Josh, this has been such a great conversation and so many nuggets of wisdom   on a lot of different levels. I’m just really appreciative of you and your mission and your work. I would just love for you to share with viewers and listeners how we can stay in touch with you and your world, how we plug in. What should we know about?

Josh: Sure. Well, anybody wants to look up any of the things I talked about today, including that leaky gut quiz they can simply go to and just look up leaky gut. I’ve got some great articles on there, guides on there. Also, as part of this program, I have a free essential oils guide and a free superfood guide. Those are typically valued at

$25. I’m giving those away for free right now, so if you want to download those and check those out.

I think those would really help people and some final thoughts as well, I’ll just say    really look to the root cause of disease. Look at those two things. Look at your diet, what you’re eating.   One of the things I noticed too, Marc, with patients is they come    in – there are usually two types of people. One type of person tends to focus on all the things they can’t have anymore. They’re saying, “I can’t eat bread.  I can’t.”  Don’t be that person because you will overwhelm yourself.    Then it just seems like an  impossible feat to change your diet versus start looking at all the things you can have.

I can tell you, this morning for breakfast I had a strawberry smoothie. It tasted like a strawberry milkshake. It was made with coconut milk and strawberries and stevia. It was delicious. You’re going to see that eating healthy actually, it doesn’t have to be impossible. In fact, for me, I love cooking.  I love food.  I think it’s absolutely doable,  but really look at that.  Look at your emotional side of things that we had talked about

  • I think are very important as well.

Again, if people want to learn more about leaky gut and how to heal naturally, again, my website is I want to say, Marc, I’m such a huge fan of what you’re  doing here. I’m a huge fan of some of the other speakers that are a part of this world­changing summit. I really believe – this is a message that everybody, all across the world, needs to hear.

Marc: Thank you so much and thank you for being out there and being a real warrior and just beautiful voice in this realm. Again, I want to emphasis for viewers and listeners,, amazing, amazing resource for so much information. Keep up the great work, my friend and thank you so much for your words of wisdom.    I really appreciate  it.

Josh: Awesome. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, Marc.

Marc: Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. Once again, I’m Marc David on behalf of The Future  of Healing Online Conference.   I’ve been with Dr. Josh Axe of   Lots more to come my friends.


Interview with Marc David and Dr. Josh Axe

Become a Mind Body Eating Coach

Make real, lasting change - in your life and the lives of others using eating psychology coaching tools.


Subscribe to The Psychology of Eating Podcast

Get notified when new episodes go live.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Listen to The Psychology of Eating Podcast

Follow Us

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.